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Vietnam Driving E-commerce Growth in ASEAN

The significant expansion of e-commerce in recent times has opened opportunities for businesses to easily enter the export market and engage in cross-border e-commerce within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) through the Vietnam E-commerce and Digital Economy Agency organised a workshop as part of the ASEAN Online Sale 2023. It aimed to enhance e-commerce within the region and expedite the implementation of ASEAN Free Trade Agreements.

To enter the e-commerce market, enterprises need to revamp or strengthen their supply chains, enhance the digitalisation of their processes, and develop a comprehensive understanding of customs regulations when exporting their products worldwide. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) should not be concerned about investing in advanced technologies, as they can leverage the benefits of free services offered by supporting units.

Vietnam has recognised the significant potential of cross-border e-commerce, in line with the government’s policies for digital economy development. This approach serves as an effective supplementary channel for traditional international trade, leveraging technological advantages to expand the reach of Vietnamese products to a wider global customer base.

According to 2022 reports, which specifically examined Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam, 20 million people used online platforms for the first time in 2022, raising the total number of internet users in the region to 460 million.

In the next five years, ASEAN is projected to attain a dual annual growth rate of 11.43%, matching the growth rates seen in developed countries like the US, China, and Canada. By the end of 2023, revenue from e-commerce is expected to reach US$ 113.9 billion. The figure is expected to reach US$ 175 billion by 2027.

Recently, the Centre of Information and Digital Technology of the Vietnam E-commerce and Digital Economy Agency announced plans to unveil a system to ensure transactions in e-commerce from now until the end of the year. The aim is to assist the parties to the transaction using protected online payments.

In April, OpenGov Asia reported that despite the challenges posed by global and domestic economic conditions affecting trade, e-commerce is projected to remain the most rapidly expanding and stable economic sector in Vietnam throughout this year. Building upon the progress achieved in two previous waves of growth, the e-commerce industry in Vietnam is anticipated to grow at a rate exceeding 25% and reach a scale surpassing US$ 20 billion.

In 2022, it is estimated that the scale of online retail sales of goods transactions accounted for approximately 8.5% of the total retail sales of consumer goods and services, which amounted to VND 5,680 trillion (US$ 240.5 billion). For the retailing of goods alone, the amount of online retail sales of goods against the total retail sales of goods was about 7.2% last year, higher than the corresponding rate of 6.7% in 2021.

As per the data from the General Statistics Office, the gross domestic product (GDP) of the nation grew by 3.3% in the three months of this year compared to the same period last year. The total retail sales of consumer goods and services were estimated to be around VND 1,505.3 trillion (US$ 64 billion), marking an increase of 13.9% compared to the same period last year. When excluding the price factor, the growth was still notable at 10.3%.


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